Wednesday, October 18, 2006

POP OF THE DAY: Coke (From a Fountain)

Category: Cola
Ratings (out of 5)
Taste: 4
Fizziness Factor: 4
Bottle/Can Design: 3
Availability: 5

Tasting Notes: This is not so much a review of a specific soda—although my Coke from Rubio's was swell—as it is a celebration of the entire fountain drink experience. What's so enticing about fountain soda? Well, first you have the word "fountain," which brings goodness wherever it roams. Fountain of Youth? Makes you immortal. Fountains of Wayne? "Stacey's Mom" is the perfect rock song. Fountain Avenue? Much less traffic than comparable Los Angeles streets.

Now I was going to get all scientific about how using a straw directs soda to a different part of the mouth than sipping does, causing it to hit different taste buds and taste less sweet, but according to the folks at Wikipedia, that whole "tongue map" theory is bogus. Even so, fountain drinks have several advantages. 1) Ice. I find filling the cup 1/3 of the way is ideal, and of course crushed ice is best. 2) The straw makes drinking tidier, and until Wikipedia tells me otherwise, I will also believe that it focuses the fizz. 3) Freshness. Again, I have no data to prove this, but "freshness" is another word like "fountain." It just sounds happy. Speaking of which: 4) Sound effects. Nothing builds sweet anticipation like the sound of soda whooshing out of a fountain, burbling over ice, and gently hissing as it crowns the top of the cup. 5) Customization. The various permutations and combinations that you can create at a sodsa fountain could take up a week's worth of posts, so let me just say that if you want Sprite and Coke, let there be Spoke. (Total score 16/20)

Suggested Food Pairings: Cheeseburger and fries

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